>Allerheiligen

>Weird weather in the last few days. Wind sturms (which did that tree in), the sky can’t decide whether it wants to be sunny and dry or overcast and humid, and every quiet moment just feels like that calm before the storm.
Which fits right in with the change from October to November. As long as I have lived here, it’s always felt to me like this is the real divide between late summer and winter, and that fall is just nature’s reluctance to go there.
Thinking about the celebration of Halloween and All Saints Day in America, and how the time has been pretty well stripped of thinking of those who came before us. Even here in a fairly conservative Catholic country like Austria, November 1st is a day to hit the cemetery and bring a new evergreen arrangement for the family gravestones. None of it looks somber or awkward. It’s probably not something the kids actually look forward to, but the family goes, and cleans up the little piece of ground reserved for flowers while Papa talks on his mobile phone 15 feet away and the teen sends texts to her boyfriend.
It’s definitely part of the culture, and more connected to the Latino “Day of the Dead” than to anything we do in North America, which is to make it fun with candy and costumes, and sing praises to the saints if one is a religious Christian, and ignore real death altogether.
November 1 is also an actual holiday, banks and stores are closed. I’ll sing a concert tonight, Mozart Requiem. Fitting music for the slide into winter.

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